The New Yorker...

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Joe M. Turner » 01/16/03 11:37 AM

A post by Don Dunn on another forum alerted me to something that may interest you.

The New Yorker features a short story called "The Card Trick," by Tessa Hadley, which describes a performance of "Out of This World" and reveals the fact that there is a prearrangement in the final paragraph.

Link is below.

JMT

http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/conten ... fi_fiction
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Postby Dave Egleston » 01/17/03 03:51 PM

Mr Turner - I don't think this is exposure - I read this and I think you and I and the author's mother are the only one's who read it - Even Oprah couldn't get through that pretentious crap!
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/17/03 05:43 PM

Originally posted by Dave Egleston:
Mr Turner - I don't think this is exposure - I read this and I think you and I and the author's mother are the only one's who read it - Even Oprah couldn't get through that pretentious crap!
Hello, Dave.

I think we've discovered the perfect way to protect magic's secrets: separate the trick description from the method with a bunch of meaningless, tedious, pretentious paragraphs of banal, if well-written nothingness.

Wait a second.

I have a whole shelf full of such magic books.

Never mind.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

P.S. Actually, I thought the story was pretty good. Yes, I'm weird.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 01/17/03 08:36 PM

This may be a good example of why the public doesn't really care about exposure. The 'secret' is a rather broad explanation of the trick. Of course thats because going into more detail would be very boring to a non magician.
I think anyone that saw the trick even after reading that woudl be fooled still. Think?
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Postby Dave Egleston » 01/17/03 09:27 PM

Mr Turner did Tessa a big favor: Increased readership of her S.S. by 300%

You're right Mr. Matney, the exposure was so buried in the story - only a person with a little magical background would be aware

Dave
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/17/03 10:17 PM

Originally posted by Dave Egleston:
Mr Turner did Tessa a big favor: Increased readership of her S.S. by 300%
All of whom are magicians.

This is a case of the "tree falling in a deserted forest." Or is it; "If no one is there, does it smell when a bear sh...."

No...it's the tree thing.

Dustin
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 01/18/03 12:45 AM

Reader's Digest published a story about an "unforgettable character" several years ago that ACTUALLY exposed the details of "Out of This World" so that the M.O. was understandable.

The New Yorker story does not do this.

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 01/18/03 02:48 PM

I would hardly call that story "exposure".

However, I agree with those who called it "pretentious"!
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Postby John Smetana » 01/19/03 09:13 AM

I don't think it's necessary to worry about the "exposure" in this story.Since it doesn't come until almost the end of the piece, it's my opinion that very few will get that far.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana :cool:
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Postby Steve Hook » 01/19/03 09:39 AM

One tip that this author is probably not a magician: In the presentation, the girl really strained to predict the colors...but failed.

She then touched the other kid's hand and gave him The Power.

Theoretically, he would have then failed, too.

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Postby Lisa Cousins » 01/19/03 10:20 AM

Whether it be pretentious or not, I don't feel qualified to say, because I could only read it on a "quick skim" basis. Oh, I started out at the usual pace, but when I came to the part (which was very near the top) about how the girl could feel her excessive ugliness affronting the successive layers of air, but that other days she was more hopeful - well, I switched into fast-forward mode at that point, thinking "okay, okay - where's the card trick?"

I was a bit concerned, because I just started presenting Out Of This World. I received a request to do an all-seance show for a teenage girl's slumber party (and I feel justified here in gloating about my exclusive access to this particular market, lads!) and had but one measly seance effect in my repertoire. In planning the program, I realized that many effects which are not intended for seance use could be presented as such, just by blaming any magic on a ghost's agency.

I included Out Of This World at the beginning of the program to demonstrate that the girls were all experiencing the proper psychic connection with the world of spirit. We went through the deck, with each girl laying down four or five cards. Before revealing the result, I explained that sheer chance would give us 50% accuracy, and that anything over, say, 65% correct would show that there was more than sheer chance involved. Needless to say, more than sheer chance was definitively proven.

Since I know that I could not understand or present Out Of This World based on the information given in the story, I'm going to go ahead and assume that the local teen girls couldn't either, even if they chanced to read The New Yorker and managed to make their way through the tale, which I hope they didn't, and not just because of the exposure issue.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 01/19/03 11:32 AM

I'm trying to find in my original post where I called it "exposure" because I don't believe I did. I was simply alerting the group here to the existence of the story.

It is clear that it reveals the existence of a prearrangement of the cards. I agree that if it is exposure at all, it's minimal and thoroughly buried.

Just thought it was interesting.

Best,
JMT
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 01/19/03 11:37 AM

Originally posted by Lisa Cousins:
an all-seance show for a teenage girl's slumber party (and I feel justified here in gloating about my exclusive access to this particular market, lads!)
Actually, I've performed formal close-up shows for a couple of teenaged girls' birthday parties, though the girls were not in sleepwear and I have no idea if they stayed overnight.

JMT
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Postby Guest » 01/20/03 12:00 AM

Whatever you all do, please dont write to The New Yorker and complain; it's buried enough in the horribly drab plot, infuriatingly tedious prose, and amusingly lacking punctuation that I sincerely doubt many folks would bother reading it, as noted above. If magicians start whining and calling attention to it like they do every time an exposure show is on TV, all it will do is cause people to look at it to see what all the fuss is about.

--A
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 01/20/03 07:49 AM

I agree, Andy... I was certainly not trying to start some kind of campaign against the magazine.

I saw a post on another board that suggested this was "exposure." I looked at the page and concluded that while it did reveal the existence of a prearrangement, the exposure was minimal.

When I posted the link here, I purposefully did not label it "exposure." I simply wanted to call attention to a magic-related short story in a major magazine.

Just to clarify...

JMT
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Postby Guest » 01/20/03 10:08 AM

Lisa --

Single-handedly cornering the Albuquerque slumber party market? You go, girl!

In case you don't have it, the new Paul Curry book, "Worlds Beyond," has material in addition to OOTW that could be adapted to a seance-style approach. I'm thinking particularly about one in which five ESP cards are torn in half, the halves are mixed up, and the magician "channels" signals from a volunteer to match the pieces back up again. Can be done with Tarot cards for extra mystic effect.

-r
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 01/20/03 11:37 AM

Thank you, Ralph. I have "Worlds Beyond" and a couple of unusual tarot decks that have been waiting for something magical to be done with them - I'll get on the case at once.

And the strangest thing: Since putting together my slumber-party seance show, my 17-year-old son, who never expressed any interest in lending a hand in the past, is now perfectly willing - one might even say eager - to assist! Go figure!
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 01/20/03 12:10 PM

The New Yorker magazine, usually applauded for the consistently high quality of their fiction, might appreciate input from readers about the PROSE, PUNCTUATION, TEDIUM, and PRETENTIOUSNESS of the short story...if, indeed, it IS that bad?

I haven't read it yet; however, I'm surprised at the number of comments regarding the style (or lack of it) of the story.

I wonder what these same commentators would think of the works by Nicholas Baker?

Onward...

P.S. BTW, I'm always alert to words such as PRETENTIOUS because over the years my legion of detractors use many of the P-words when talking about my writings: pretentious, pompous, pedantic, with a tendency toward prolixity. Sometimes I even hear the word,"putrid."

The one that bothers me the most of course is: UNREADABLE.

Sometimes they compare it to Max Maven's and Jamy Swiss's writings, adding..."only not as informed."
This neither delights nor annoys Max or Jamy.

Boy...

They really know how to hurt a guy.

Still moving (slowly) onward...
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 01/20/03 12:39 PM

I believe the best descriptive for The New Yorker is "stale brilliance."
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Postby Dave Egleston » 01/20/03 04:41 PM

P.S. BTW, I'm always alert to words such as PRETENTIOUS
Mr Racherbaumer - I hope you find ten minutes to read this article - I wanted to use "dreck" but couldn't find it in the dictionary or thesaurus - So reverted to the common "crap".

I'm interested in the "P" word you'll use.

Dave
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